The Mensah Health Mental Rehabilitation Project (MEMHREP) has once again and progressively establishing itself as one of the vibrant Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) that plays advocacy role in creating awareness on mental health problems. Although, the issue of mental health has not received much attention in the country, MEMHREP wants the issue to be treated as a national disaster due to alarming rate of people suffering from mental health problems.
It is against this backdrop that MEMHREP is leaving no stone unturned in bringing to the fore, the plight of mental health patients with the view to reducing not only the stigmization and discrimination surrounding mental health, but also, to tackle the root causes of the problem. In line with this, MEMHREP, for the past few months, has been visiting some basic and high schools in the Ashanti Region of Ghana and educating the children on the dangers of drug abuse, use of tramadol and other hard substances which leave the children wayward.
The basic schools visited so far include, Juaben M/A Primary, Juaben Methodist Primary and JHS, Juaben Owusu Forkuo R/C Primary and JHS, Ejisu Presby JHS and Ejisu Methodist Preparatory and JHS, Juaben Anglican Primary and JHS where the Team addressed about 3,500 participants. Dubbed "MEMHREP's Schools Mental Health Education Outreach Programme", Team MEMHREP took the participants (teachers and students) through the dangers drug abuse and substance abuse (meanings,effects,causes,preventive measures), the effects of Tramadol, the effects of Truancy, indiscipline, "sakawa" "kidnapping", premature relationships, The causes of mental illness, What is mental health and mental illness, The effects of mental illness, Signs and symptoms of mental illness, Solution to mental illness, and the need to have compassion with mentally-ill patients on the street and within the community, by not stigmatizing or discriminating against them. This was done through the showing of videos, presentation by power point, lectures by specialists, nurses and pastoral care team.
The participants were given the chance to ask questions that bothered their minds on mental health. The head teacher of Juaben M/A school, Mrs. Kate Jumah, together with other head teachers could not hide his excitement for the lecture when interviewed. The Heads, whilst commending Team MEMHREP, simultaneously made passionate appeals to the government, private organizations, religious and traditional authorities and individuals to fund the Mental Health Education project being undertaken by MEMHREP so that, other sister schools could also benefit, based on the level of enthusiasm shown by the students.
Kelvin Ayisah-Sam (the Deputy Administrator of MEMHREP Ghana) was interviewed by media station including Kessben Fm, Nhyira and Hello Fm to make the general public aware of the rationale behind MEMHREP’s good cause. Memhrep pleaded to the general public and government to come to their aid and support them with logistics so that they can continue to educate and support all the youth in the society to stay away from drug abuse and mental illness issues to reduce social vices like ( arm robbery, kidnapping and others).
MEMHREP intends to liaise with school authorities to form "Mental Health Advocacy Groups" in schools to help speed up the awareness of mental health issues.
It must be noted that, MEMHREP has been operating in Ghana and the UK for the past eight years. Led by Mr. Adu- Gyamfi, this registered NGO has been providing care and support to people on the street suffering from mental problems. Such support includes bathing, feeding and clothing the patients on regular basis on the streets. MEMHREP has also been making donations in kind and cash to orphanages and psychiatric hospitals in Ghana and abroad.
Unfortunately, the effort of the NGO is being constraint by financial and logistical resources. MEMHREP would therefore like to appeal to the general public to come to their aid. Currently, MEMHREP is building an ultra-modern Rehabilitation Centre in Ashanti Region to accommodate the mental patients, give them medical and religious treatment, counseling, and train those who might be recovered to acquire employable skills.
All donations can be channeled through the following:
• A/C No: 151017809014, Cal Bank, Kejetia Branch, Kumasi.
*In UK: A/C No. 21027409; Sort code. 09-01-28;
*International (IBAN): GB71ABBY09012821027409
•Email: [email protected]
•MTN GH mobile money: 0240838893
• Telephone number: 00233248762692//00447572625833